Donald Trump’s businesses hold millions of dollars in debt, raising questions about conflicts of interests.
A new study by The Wall Street Journal reveals that the companies, owned by the president-elect, owe nearly $1.8 billion in debt to more than 150 institutions including Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Fidelity Investments, Prudential PLC, and Vanguard Group.
The President-elect is set to take office on January 20th. Reports suggest that Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter will attend the presidential inauguration.
Trump previously declared $315 million of debt owed to 10 different organizations. According to the WJS report, the billionaire’s partly owned companies owe an additional $1.5 billion. The law requires candidates for the U.S. president to disclose information about debt owed by companies they full control. In Trump’s case, $315 million owned by companies fully owned by him.
Still, experts concerned about size of the Republican debts, the high number of lenders including big names.
Lawrence Noble, a former lawyer to Federal Election Commission, said that “the appearance of potential conflicts is dangerous and seriously exists in this situation.”
Trump owes money to Wells Fargo & Co. which is being investigated by the U.S. authorities for fraudulent practices. The bank is allegedly opened up to two million accounts without getting required information about customers, The Independent reported.
According to the WJS report, Wells Fargo is the trustee of $282 million of loans to Trump and his companies. In addition, the bank is also involved in a further $950 million of debt paid to a property that one of the President-elect’s firms partly owns. Trump’s businesses also owe significant amount to the state-owned Bank of China.
After taking office, Trump is going to appoint the heads of many of the organizations that regulate Wells Fargo and the other institutions he owes money to.
Trump hasn’t published his tax returns yet. He was criticized to disclose his tax details but the Republican refused to do so.
The President-elect has promised that he will remove himself from his businesses during his time in office. However, he hasn’t announce how and when he will leave his businesses.